WHEN Gil Carmo, an avid motorbike rider, first arrived in Vietnam in 2012, a country with one of the highest motorbike ownerships in the world, he scoured the internet to purchase second-hand bikes shortly after However, he quickly discovered the absence of an online platform for bike enthusiasts to purchase and sell bikes and accessories.
Unfortunately, the same problem was a reality in other parts of the region. Close to 100 million motorcycles new and used are being transacted every year, yet there was no digital platform supporting the market exclusively.
Hence, in 2016, Gil decided to take matters into his own hands and founded iMotorbike – a one-stop-shop platform for all bike enthusiasts, new and seasoned. iMotorbike is the first online listing platform in Malaysia that specializes in everything motorbike and the biking-related that provides a large and varied list of new and used second-hand bikes, accessories, parts, as well as in-house written reviews and more.
“As someone who enjoys biking, I found it challenging to look for bikes initially when purchases were all done on-ground and information was scarce,” stated Gil.
This has led Gil to create a one-stop-shop hub to provide bikers and people who share the same hobby a safe and secure space to sell and trade information about all things biking.
“We wanted to create a clean, transparent, and trustworthy community, so we implemented a series of security measures and validity checks to guarantee the quality of interaction,” he added.
Aside from serving as a marketplace for buyers and sellers, iMotorbike’s team of unbiased in-house writers maintains a library of extensive reviews, motoring news, and updates of the biking world on their website.
With promises of a brighter future, the team had to go on for many grueling months without getting paid. Fortunately, the team received their first funds from the iconic 500 Startups as well as several angel investors in the region as well as from Alto Partners of Singapore.
While struggles and obstacles will undeniably present themselves in the future, it is safe to say that the worst has passed for iMotorbike.
Equipped with his experience in different types of digital platforms, from corporations as large as Lazada to the rapidly expanding startup Shopback, Gil is no stranger to the ins and outs of the E-commerce world.
He quickly realized that while being early disruptors in the industry is important, persistent education is equally as essential to raise awareness of the public towards the brand as well as to ensure the success and continued growth of an organization.
As iMotorbike is an ambitious and unique project in South East Asia, it was not spared from challenges and obstacles. Technological demands have to be met whereas future upgrades and features become inevitable as well. It also goes without saying that when a platform grows, other aspects of the company have to scale up as well to meet the demands of both buyers and sellers.
“Some of the biggest challenges that we had to overcome as a marketplace was having to build both sides of the game at once. We had to put in equal effort on both parties to keep a steady momentum as they both complement each other,” Gil pointed out.
“With that said we are very fortunate to see incredible engagement and enthusiasm from the entire community of buyers and sellers despite the pandemic.”
iMotorbike has seen a 40% month-on-month growth, attributed to without the immense support from our loyal customers.
Further driven by COVID-19, more and more dealers are going digital and are adopting iMotorbike’s services. Additionally, the adoption of food delivery and courier services as an alternative method of income has caused the demand for motorcycles to skyrocket in the past few months.
Seeing the continued rise of bike owners and dealers in the industry in 2020, Gil expects this rise to continue throughout 2021. With that said, the team is not planning to rest on their laurels and will definitely be looking to further expand the service to offer users an even better experience in the future. – Jan 11, 2021